14 Mar 2015 - 23:41
Georgia's national rugby team has defeated Russia in front of a home crowd, with a score of 33 points to 0 in a European Nations Cup (ENC) Championship match.
About 30,000 people attended tonight's game at Tbilisi Mikheil Meskhi Stadium, which also served as a farewell match for long-serving Georgian captain Irakli Machkhaneli.
The match was well challenged by both sides but in the end the Lelos were victorious.
In the 14th minute Georgian fans stood up to honour their captain, who played number 14. He has played 67 games for his country and scored 23 tries while representing the national team. In this spirit, the words "Thank you, Machkho!” were displayed on the stadium's big screen.
Meanwhile in today's match the Georgians, commonly known among the local fans as the Lelos, scored three tries, three conversions and four penalty tries.
Merab Kvirikashvili of Georgia performed a flawless game. He kicked three conversions and four penalty tries; all of which were successful. Photo by Nino Alavidze / Agenda.ge
To date, the Georgian and Russian rugby teams have played each other 19 times. Of this, Georgia have won 17 matches, one game ended in a draw and one game ended with a victory for the Russian team.
With this win, Georgia has almost secured its leading position within the ENC Championship.
After tonight’s triumph, Georgia had secured four consecutive victories in this year's ENC Championship.
Looking ahead Georgia will challenge Romania on March 21.
Meanwhile 2015 will be a historic year for the Georgian side as they will compete in the Rugby World Cup for the fourth time.
At this event, for the first time ever the Lelos will challenge current world champions, the All Blacks from New Zealand in Cardiff in October.
Preparation for the World Cup has been underway for some time, starting with the autumn tests against Tonga, Ireland and Japan. Looking ahead the Georgian side will continue their preparation for the World Cup finals, to be held in England and Wales later this year.